09 • 03 • 2021

A New White-tailed Eagle`s Nest has Been Found in Kurzeme

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Thanks to an attentive nature walker, who, while taking a walk, noticed an unusually large bird flying out of a nest, a new nest of white-tailed eagles was found in Kurzeme. Initially, the finder of the nest, Arnis, thought that he had noticed an eagle, so shortly after spotting the nest, he contacted Uģis Bergmanis, Senior Environmental Expert at JSC “Latvia’s State Forests” (LVM), to find out more about his unusual finding.

“Since I have a country house nearby, I went for a walk last weekend. Suddenly I noticed a very large bird with huge wings flying out of a nest. I had never seen such a large bird before. Then I also noticed a nest on the tree. I guess that the birds have only started to build it now, because I had not noticed the nest there before. When I was taking a walk the next day, I saw already two birds circling in the air nearby,” says Arnis, explaining how he had noticed the nest.

“The number of white-tailed eagles has increased significantly also in Latvia in recent decades, and the majority of them are to be found in Kurzeme. These eagles usually nest near water reservoirs because they feed on fish and waterfowl. As their number increases, they are exploring new areas and more often nest further away from water. One of the peculiarities of these species is nesting in clearings, where they prefer ecological trees – more than one third of all white-tailed eagles nest in such places in Latvia. White-tailed eagles winter here – they stay in the nesting area all year round. Already in the first half of March, when forests and fields are sometimes still covered with snow and soil is frozen, 1 to 3 eggs are laid in their nests. During this period of time, forestry activities in the vicinity of nests are not carried out,” says Uģis Bergmanis.

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The white-tailed eagle had also built this newly found nest in an ecological tree preserved in a reforestation felling. In the logging process, LVM leaves ecological trees (living trees, oldest, largest) untouched in order to ensure the presence of biologically old trees in the forest, thus creating a habitat for those forest dwellers who have adapted to living in old trees. Ecological trees are left in clearings both one by one and in groups of particular ecological trees.

LVM would like to thank Arnis, who immediately reported his discovery to LVM. Other friends of nature are also encouraged to report any large bird nests found in State – owned forests. Rare species of birds and other animals, as well as their habitats and important biotopes, are protected in State forests. In those places where protected birds nest – the black stork, all eagles nesting in Latvia and other species, forestry activities are restricted or completely suspended, and micro-reserves are established for the protection of these species.